Walking is good for your health and better for the environment than driving. But unfortunately, not all streets in California are pedestrian-friendly. Even the most well-designed walking areas can still be hazardous to people on foot if a negligent driver is nearby.
Motorists must watch for pedestrians and exercise caution when driving near them. But it only takes a split second of carelessness to cause a serious pedestrian accident with far-reaching consequences.
Wondering whether you can file a pedestrian accident lawsuit after being hit in Los Angeles? Reach out to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer at Custodio & Dubey LLP to learn what compensation you may be entitled to. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
How Common are Pedestrian Accidents in California?
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, California has a higher rate of pedestrian fatalities than any state in the country. In fact, it’s 25 percent above the national average. All reckless drivers may be held liable if their negligence leads to a pedestrian accident.
The statistics are staggering. According to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, 893 pedestrians died in accidents on California roads in a recent year, a disturbing 26 percent increase from the previous five years. Around 14,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in accidents in a single year.
In addition, research from the California Department of Public Health found that 21 percent of the total number of traffic-related fatalities over a five-year study period were pedestrians. Sadly, 29 percent of all child traffic fatalities in California were pedestrians. Kern County and Humboldt County recorded the highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities, while Los Angeles and San Francisco reported the highest number of pedestrian injuries.
The health department also found that an average of 238,000 pedestrian traffic-related injuries occurred each year, for a total of nearly 1.7 million pedestrian injuries within just five years.
On a national scale, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 6,205 pedestrian fatalities in a recent year. All of these numbers are unacceptable, and injured Californians have the right to demand fair compensation if they’ve been hurt.
Can I Sue After a Pedestrian Accident in California?
If a negligent motorist hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk, on a sidewalk, in a parking lot, or elsewhere, the injured pedestrian could seek compensation through an injury claim or pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Compensation for a pedestrian accident could include money for:
- Medical expenses, such as the cost of emergency services, surgeries, and physical therapy sessions.
- Lost income, if the pedestrian is unable to work after the injury
- Property damage, for anything you had with you at the time of the accident
- Pain and suffering, or money to represent subjective losses like pain and suffering
What to Do If After a California Pedestrian Accident
If you were injured by a negligent driver in California while walking, you can take several actions to protect your legal rights:
- Call 911. A law enforcement officer will create a detailed report of the accident, which could be crucial if you need to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver(s).
- Seek medical care. Get evaluated by a medical professional immediately. Some symptoms of severe injuries might not be immediately apparent, such as delayed whiplash, concussions, and internal bleeding. Seeing a doctor promptly protects your health and creates a medical record of the incident right away. Since your compensation depends on proving that you were injured, your medical records are crucial to your case.
- Collect photo and video evidence. If you’re able, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Any evidence, such as skid marks, crushed traffic barriers, and your own injuries, are important to document. Photos and videos can serve as powerful evidence in an injury claim.
- Speak to witnesses. Eyewitness testimony can be valuable because witnesses provide an unbiased account of what happened. Collect every witness’s contact information so that they can give a formal statement later.
- Contact a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we will conduct an in-depth investigation of the accident to determine what happened and who should be held liable. We’ll build a strong claim and fight for a fair settlement from the responsible party’s insurance company. If settlement talks break down, our lawyers will discuss the possibility of filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit to pursue a better result for you.
Keep in mind that pedestrians who have been injured in an accident in California have only two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving Liability in a Pedestrian Accident in California
To secure compensation for injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident in California, you and your attorney will need to show that the other party was negligent. This means showing that the driver failed to obey the rules of the road, was distracted, was driving aggressively, or otherwise did not exercise adequate care and caution.
You’ll also have to show that their actions (or failure to act) directly caused the accident and injured you. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help gather the evidence needed for a persuasive case.
What Happens if I Was Partly at Fault for the Accident?
If you were struck by a vehicle while walking in California but fear that you are partly to blame, don’t despair. California is a pure comparative fault state, which means that victims could still seek some compensation even if they were 99 percent at fault for the accident. The amount you ultimately recover will depend on the portion of fault you were assigned for the accident. For this reason, you’ll want a skilled pedestrian accident attorney by your side. Insurance companies will jump at the chance to pin a larger portion of the blame onto you. Every percentage point placed on you reduces your take-home payout, so having an attorney can shield you from being under-compensated.
Speak with Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
The Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys at Custodio & Dubey LLP can seek justice for you if you were injured while walking in California. Our legal team has extensive experience handling complex injury claims and defending clients from unfair claims of fault in pedestrian accident cases.
Put us to work for you now. Call or contact Custodio & Dubey LLP for a free case review.